New post, new job, new focus, new style 4.27.2013

News! News! News!

Ah spring, a time for change and renewal. I've got a lot of things that are new.

New job. I'm two weeks into my new job at PetroSkills and I am loving it. I spend my days looking at CSS and javascript and swearing at IE8. The biggest adjustment so far has been Windows 7. I've been using Mac OSX at home for more than two years and Windows XP for my previous job. Sublime Text has been my bridge. I've installed Sublime Text and that has been my bridge from home to work.

I redesigned my blog a few months ago - mostly because my previous host disappeared. I won't say who my former host was - I will say my new host Ram Node has been amazing. In an ironic - or perhaps alanic twist - my old host was originally my minecraft server host. The irony is that in the months leading up to the host disapearing I had moved my minecraft server over to Ram Node. I was getting far better performance from the Ram Node servers. The only service I had left on the old servers was my WordPress blog.

I tried a half-dozen flat file blog engines but I have finally settled on Poet. Other engines do more and I was very tempted to go with SquareSpace. If you want to do everything yourself then Poet is a great tool but if you just want a site that looks great and is responsive Square Space is an amazing platform. For me - I want to be in the trenches cranking the widgets. I used the sample code provided by Poet and built my own RSS feed template. The link is in the header above or you can subscribe.

I've also been mapping more. I've been working on a new process to digitize my maps. I've often fallen weeks and weeks behind because a map that I might spend an hour on with the pad and paper might take four hours to fiddle with on the computer. I did a bunch of tutorials and tried a bunch of new techniques and I discovered the magic that is "multiply." This is the one thing that sped up the process more than anything else - the multiply blending setting - it turns the white portions of the image transparent! Whoa... it's magic!

I really wish I could remember where I learned this trick - it saves me literally more than an hour in the digitizing process. I also downloaded some leather textures from DeviantArt to use for the overlay of the maps.

I've also stopped inking. This is something I really had trouble giving up but all in all it means that from the time I pick up the pad to the image ready for use is about 90 minutes.

Dungeon New Style

This is not 100% what the new style maps will look like. The tan colour is a bit too orange and background is a bit too dark but it is very close. The last adjustment is turning the black to a dark rich brown. The next map will have all the features in the final style. But because as much as things change the they also stay the same. I destroyed the raw scanned and working files and no longer have the intermediate steps to adjust this map without starting over - so it will forever stand as a living prototype.

Released under CC 25 BY NC Canada.

Published on 4.27.2013